Marlene Elaine Holmes was born on November 15, 1929, in Plainview, Nebraska,
to proud parents Otho and Myrtle Holmes and big sister Bonnie. She was a spunky
little girl with bright blond curls. One day when she was especially naughty her
mother asked her if she wouldn’t rather be a good little girl and go to heaven.
Marlene’s innocent reply was: “No! I want to stay here and play with Eddie
Hagedorn (her best friend from across the street).”
Church always held a prominent place in Marlene’s life. While attending a
children’s meeting at the Friends Church at the age of 5, Marlene accepted
Christ as her personal Savior. When she was 14, handsome Ralph Smith caught her
eye at church one Sunday night and romance bloomed. They were married on March
19, 1949, at Grace Bible Church in Creighton, Nebraska. It didn’t take long for
the family of two to become four with the arrival of daughter Beth in 1950 and
son Jere in 1953.
For 40 years Ralph and Marlene served their Lord together in many capacities
including helping to plant and build the Victory Road Evangelical Free Church in
Marlene was a seamstress, a cake decorator, did embroidery and oil painting. She
was especially gifted at constructing intricate table decorations for missions
conferences and women’s events. She could plan a great church social: choose the
theme, make the decorations, prepare the food, conduct hilarious games then
serve the food, and still have enough energy to clean up afterwards. She
hand-made and hand-printed name tags for Christian Women’s Club for 14 years.
She has lived in Lincoln for 23 years and was a faithful member of Lincoln
Berean. To her great delight even her close friends often confused her with her
big sister Bonnie or assumed they were twins.
In recent years Marlene’s most earnest prayer has been to see all her children,
grandchildren and great-grandchildren in heaven someday.
She was preceded in death by her husband Ralph, son Jere, her parents and
brother-in-law Vernon Smith. Marlene is survived by her daughter Beth Bishop and
husband Randy, daughter-in-law Darlene Smith, grandchildren Phil Bishop, Angela
Wallace, Theresa Fritz, Chelsea Kunce and their spouses, great-grandchildren
Isaac, Eli, Carter, Paxton and Eliana, sister Bonnie, nieces and nephews and
many dear friends.
A Celebration of Marlene’s life will be 10:30 AM on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at
the Lincoln Berean Church. Pastor Kyle Helmick will officiate. Inurnment will be
in the Columbus Cemetery. At the request of the Smith family, there will be no
viewing/visitation. Marlene’s wishes were for cremation. Memorials are suggested
to the church.